Salt & Pepper
1623 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia , PA 19147
Cuisine type: American
This once stalwart little Queen Village BYOB has moved south and stepped up to a handsome bilevel storefront space with a full-service bar. The intimate ambience and warm service offer a nice touch of New Age date-night polish to the edgy East Passyunk scene. The overall ambitions of this American bistro, though, are underwhelming, with a thin wine list and a menu of dishes that are familiar to the point of being dull. Add spotty execution and some less-than-bargain prices, and the whole experience feels flat.
Scallops with lentils; beet and pineapple salad; gnocchi with porcini sauce; roast chicken; seared tuna; steak-frites; chocolate lava cake.
There’s a handsome bar, but the former BYOB operators have taken a cautious approach to their new liquor license, with only a dozen familiar wines at $35 a bottle ($8 a glass), plus a trio of $60 reserves. There is also a handful of craft beers, including Dogfish Head 60 Minute and Ithaca Apricot Wheat. You’ll drink better on Tuesdays and Wednesdays,
when BYOB is still permitted.
The upstairs area can become a boisterous 88 decibels when full, but the downstairs rooms retain a more intimate 82-decibel hum. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturdays.